APO Corrected 1.35x Scanner Lens For $20 PrimeFilm 3650u

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RobertOToole
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APO Corrected 1.35x Scanner Lens For $20 PrimeFilm 3650u

Post by RobertOToole »

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After seeing the price of the Minolta Elite 5400 lens go up and the supply dry out I started looking at other lenses. The PrimeFilm scanner caught my eye on Filmscanners.info. There are lots on Ebay. For $20 I took a chance.

This is the 3560u lens next to a Canon MP-E.


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How small is this lens, it's smaller than a gummi-bear!

Is the lens any good? Yes, not Minolta 5400 sharp but its sharp enough and its APO corrected! Click on the image for a 1500 pixel version.

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Click on the image for a 2500 pixel version.

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Click on the image for a 2500 pixel version.

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So how does it compare to the Canon MP-E 65 at 1.35x?

Test target.

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Test Setup
Camera: Sony A6300, model # ILCE-6300
Sensor size: APS-C. 23.5 × 15.6 mm. 28.21 mm diagonal. 3.92 micron sensor pitch
Flash: Godox TT350s wireless flash x 2 with one Godox X1s 2.4G wireless flash transmitter
Vertical stand: Nikon MM-11 with a Nikon focus block

A series of images was made with each lens in 30 micron steps. The sharpest frame was then chosen using Photoshop at 100% actual pixel view. Separate images were selected for center, edge, and corner if needed. Each image was processed in PS CC with identical settings with all noise reduction and lens correction turned off, all settings were zeroed out (true zero) and the same settings were used for all of the images. All of the images shown here are single files. None of the images are stacked. Since only one sample of each lens was used in this test it should give you a good idea of how a lens can perform but it doesn't mean that your own lens will perform at the same level.

Scanner lens 100% crops at 1.35x Mag. The lens is not going to break any resolution records due to the smallish aperture but it is possible to read all the micro-lettering and numbers. Click on the image for a 1500 pixel version.

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MP-E 65 lens 100% crops at 1.35x Mag. and f/4.5. The MP-E is sharper than the scanner lens but thats not a big surprise. Click on the image for a 1500 pixel version.

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PrimeFilm image un-cropped. Downsized to 1500 pixels but lenses are sharp corner to corner without any CAs.
This image had to be saved at quality 5 in PS to be able to upload the image so be sure to click on it for the 1500px version.

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Canon MP-E 65 image. Its interesting to see the different color responses of the lenses processed with identical settings in PS CC.
This image had to be saved at quality 5 in PS to be able to upload the image so be sure to click on it for the 1500px version.

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Lens on the Sony A6300. The tiny size even with adapters makes it very easy to use and balances perfectly on a mirrorless body.

The lens slipped into into the male side bore of a RAF 26mm > RMS adapter.

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The Bottom line. It's not as sharp as a Minolta 5400 or Scanner Nikkor ED lenses. It's not as good as the Canon MP-E. But it is sharp enough, APO corrected and cost me only $20.

BTW, I have seen these on Ebay for $10 + shipping.

For the full story, more info, and how to remove the lens, see my site: https://www.closeuphotography.com/prime ... anner-lens

Questions and comments welcome.

Robert

ray_parkhurst
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Post by ray_parkhurst »

Very nice, budget lens. What is the focal length? And good writeup on the various scanners. The higher res ones are certainly pricey!

Maybe I'll pick one up to test. Thanks for pointing this one out!

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

ray_parkhurst wrote:Very nice, budget lens. What is the focal length? And good writeup on the various scanners. The higher res ones are certainly pricey!

Maybe I'll pick one up to test. Thanks for pointing this one out!
Good Question.

Meant to check on the FL but I got sidetracked, will check later tonight and post it, thanks Ray.


Robert

mjkzz
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Post by mjkzz »

wow, nice! now watch its price going because of your blog and this post :D

how do you know if it is APO corrected? I have quite a few unknown lenses, somehow I think they are APO corrected, too, but not sure about how to test it except by looking at the images they produce -- no color fringes at high contrast edges.

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

ray_parkhurst wrote:Very nice, budget lens. What is the focal length? And good writeup on the various scanners. The higher res ones are certainly pricey!

Maybe I'll pick one up to test. Thanks for pointing this one out!
The lens comes in at 45mm Ray.

Thanks for asking.

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

mjkzz wrote:wow, nice! now watch its price going because of your blog and this post :D

how do you know if it is APO corrected? I have quite a few unknown lenses, somehow I think they are APO corrected, too, but not sure about how to test it except by looking at the images they produce -- no color fringes at high contrast edges.
There was one selling for $10 buy-it-now just yesterday :shock:

This lens is better chromatically corrected than most lenses I have shot that are labeled APO! Not many lenses are this clean.

I checked for LoCAs. Zero.

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Lateral CA check:

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200% extreme crop of the above. Zero lateral CAs.

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RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

mjkzz wrote:wow, nice! now watch its price going because of your blog and this post :D

how do you know if it is APO corrected? I have quite a few unknown lenses, somehow I think they are APO corrected, too, but not sure about how to test it except by looking at the images they produce -- no color fringes at high contrast edges.
I noticed that when I shoot a stack, I use the lightbox view in Photomechanic to see all of the small thumbnails displayed on one screen.

Usually half the screen has a pink tint and the bottom half has a green tint. These are LoCAs or longitudinal chromatic aberrations.

This is really easy to see on a lens like the MP-E65, the LoCAs are neon colored. When you get a lens like the MacroVaron all the thumbnails are the same neutral color.

Most quality lenses you have to check corners at 100-200% and look for purple fringing on vertical edges.

Of course you have to make sure all lens correction is turned off in the body and in the RAW convertor. Some lenses like Olympus, Leica, and Panasonic, the lens correction can't be switched off. You have to use an non-Abobe app to open the files to avoid corrections like Capture one. With most camera bodies it is a simple selection in the camera menu.

I am sure you are aware of this Peter, this is really meant for other people that are reading the thread.

Robert

mjkzz
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Post by mjkzz »

Thanks Robert, I did not know there are options to turn off when doing conversion. But most of time, I only do JPG anyways.

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Post by RobertOToole »

mjkzz wrote:Thanks Robert, I did not know there are options to turn off when doing conversion. But most of time, I only do JPG anyways.
I usually only shoot only RAW. :)

The situation is complicated.

Sony only tags raw files for the corrections based on the lens, but not JPEGs. You can turn the corrections off in camera but Adobe convertors apply corrections even when turned off.

Nikon and Canon apply corrections to the JPEG files and also RAW files based on the lens but you can switch the corrections off.

I saved this link awhile back if anyone here wants to read more about it what takes place with Sony files:

https://variousphotography.wordpress.com/

I also have some info from Adobe on forced corrections somewhere, if anyone is interested I can dig up a link.

Robert

mjkzz
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Post by mjkzz »

Thanks Robert, the link has some heavy readings :D

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

mjkzz wrote:Thanks Robert, the link has some heavy readings :D
I admit I didn't finish the entire page :)

Here is another one, not so long this time:

https://joerghaag.files.wordpress.com/2 ... sation.pdf

mjkzz
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Post by mjkzz »

Hahaha, thanks Robert, this one is much easier to read. Now I have all "Lens Comp" turned off and lets see how it goes.

Beatsy
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Post by Beatsy »

Happy to report that the PrimeFilm 1800 USB scanner, which sells for not much more than the 3650u (2nd hand), appears to contain exactly the same lens.

The line-scan sensor in the unit is 26mm wide and positioned about 50mm from the lens (which is 19mm long and 15.8mm diameter).

This all just based on inspection for now, but used as a loupe, there's a definite "APO look" to the image which is remarkably flat and distortion-free too. I'll get it mounted and try a few pics with it later...

Edit: APO for sure with no lateral CA at all. I do see some LoCA in the far OOF areas but had to crank saturation way up to make it show. Other than that, I can't add to what Robert already said, so here's a quick snap in conclusion. Taken at roughly 1.2x, APS-C. The lens is usable on FF but with some degradation in the far corners - as expected given the size of the line-scan sensor it was covering.
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Last edited by Beatsy on Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

ray_parkhurst
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Post by ray_parkhurst »

Hmm, I actually can use a film scanner, so I picked up one of these. Let's see how it works scanning slides...then I'll gut it!

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Post by RobertOToole »

Beatsy wrote:Happy to report that the PrimeFilm 1800 USB scanner, which sells for not much more than the 3650u (2nd hand), appears to contain exactly the same lens.

The line-scan sensor in the unit is 26mm wide and positioned about 50mm from the lens (which is 19mm long and 15.8mm diameter).

This all just based on inspection for now, but used as a loupe, there's a definite "APO look" to the image which is remarkably flat and distortion-free too. I'll get it mounted and try a few pics with it later...

Edit: APO for sure with no lateral CA at all. I do see some LoCA in the far OOF areas but had to crank saturation way up to make it show. Other than that, I can't add to what Robert already said, so here's a quick snap in conclusion. Taken at roughly 1.2x, APS-C. The lens is usable on FF but with some degradation in the far corners - as expected given the size of the line-scan sensor it was covering.
Thanks for the report. Good to know the 1800 lens is ok.

The 1800 version of the scanner, also known as the Reflecta Filmscanner IScan 1800, was replaced by the 3650 model, so it should sell of less. At least on Ebay here in the states they are about the same price, $16-19 and up.

The 1800 lens should have less resolution, well we won't know for sure until someone compares both at the same time, since it was sold with a nominal rating of 1800 dpi compared to 3600dpi for the 3600 scanner. But the 7200 model was quoted with 7200 dpi but tested the same as the 3600 model on the filmscanner.info site.

I would not be surprised if the 1800/3600/7200 models all had the same lens.

Robert

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