Comparing macro lenses using MTF - invitation, take 2

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Miljenko
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Comparing macro lenses using MTF - invitation, take 2

Post by Miljenko »

Last week our fellow photomacrographer Christian (Typestar) from Austria has kindly send me huge pile of lenses for MTF testing. No less than 28 pieces ranging from tiny 9g Rodagon 31mm f5.6 to 925g giant Kodak scanner lens. This is how they look when put together in front of camera:

Image

As always, I've measured physical parameters; size, weight and thread sizes. Lenses without front and/or back threads will require designing and 3D printing appropriate adapters. So here is the complete list:

Image

The reason I'm posting this preliminary info is my cry for help to you guys. Such large selection of lenses call for rational selection of magnification range for each and every lens. Otherwise, testing might last for months. In general, we all know rough estimates for certain focal lenghts and their relation to optimal magnification. Robert has tested more than few of those lenses in his own way and found some sweet spots. His valuable work will certainly serve as a guidline.
I will highly appreciate any suggestions about the lenses you are familiar with concerning the most appropriate magnification and/or aperture where applicable.
Thank you so much in advance!
Miljenko
All things are number - Pythagoras

Miljenko
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List correction

Post by Miljenko »

Christian has just posted me slight naming correction: Lens #1 is actually Reflecta iScan 3600 and the lens #2 is actually Reflecta CrystalScan 7200. I wonder what are the differences to ProScan 7200....
All things are number - Pythagoras

typestar
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Re: List correction

Post by typestar »

Miljenko wrote:Christian has just posted me slight naming correction: Lens #1 is actually Reflecta iScan 3600 and the lens #2 is actually Reflecta CrystalScan 7200. I wonder what are the differences to ProScan 7200....
Dear Miljenko, thankyou in advance for your hard work of testing. I know (your) numbers will / could tell us additional things in our world of lenses...

About the Difference from CrystalScan 7200 to the ProScan 7200:
Again, the word "Pro" is misleading, if we read here: ( https://www.filmscanner.info/ReflectaProScan7200.html ),
the CrystalScan 7200 resolved in their target-scan measurement 3300 ppi, the "pro"-model ProSan 7200 resolved 3250 ppi.
So „PRO“ means - in this case - surely only faster scanning times and perhaps build quality.
The Reflecta ProScan 7200 has been replaced in 2014 with the ProScan 10T.

All the best:

Christian

ray_parkhurst
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Post by ray_parkhurst »

WOW! Quite a nice range of lenses there. I have the majority of them in my collection, but don't have:

Rodagon 5.6/31 (what an interesting looking lens, and odd FL)
Xenoplan 1.4/23
Xenon 2/35
Tominon 2.8/50
D-Claron 3.5/45
Repro-Claron 8/55
Kodak Scanner Lens

Will be interesting to see the results!

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

I have that Kodak scanner lens, it was sold for a very few dollars (maybe $10) by Surplus Shed. It would be the winner in any weight per dollar lens contest. If I recall correctly (and I may not be recalling correctly), it had lots of longitudinal CA in my tests, but maybe there is some range of m where it works better. It looks and feels like it should be good for something!

Miljenko
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Best five

Post by Miljenko »

Thank you all who showed interest in my offer for free MTF testing. After doing Filip's lens selection, the next batch in row was Christian's (partial) lens collection of no less than 28 pieces. As shown before, there were all sorts and origins; from scanner lenses to enlarger, industrial and video camera lenses. More than 2400 shots were done and 80 sets of data processed and put together in one large spreadsheet. Christian started to convert data into attractive charts which he'll present here but since it requires lot of his spare time, I wanted to show a quick & dirty review of best five lenses that were heads and shoulders above all the others. I believe all five were already mentioned, discussed or reviewed here but now we got some firm MTF figures to compare to other good lenses I've tested before.

Image

First in a testing row were scanner lenses made by Reflecta and Nikon. Lens from Reflecta 7200 scanner performed best when stacked to a tube lens so I thought two Nikon scanner lenses migh behave the same. However, their performance when stacked was terrible so I retested just extended in couple of magnification steps from 1x to 2x. The sweet spot for both was at 1.4x where CoolScan 4000/5000 lens produced one of the best figures I ever measured at that magnification along with very low CA. Smaller CoolScan III lens was equally good at center but dropped more at the edge with CA twice as high as CC4000/5000. However, total score is similar due to 75/25% weighting towards center resolution. Unfortunately, resolution drops fast when you move to both sides away from 1.4x and is not worth publishing.

Image

Next nice surprise was Rodenstock Rodagon WA 4/40. This is version with fixed internal aperture. It was tested stacked at both 2x and 3x magnification, the later one giving just average results. At 2x Rodenstock Rodagon 4/80 was used as the tube lens, stopped down to f/4.7 sweet spot. Resolution is one of the best ever at 2x so as this lens is easy to find and get on Ebay in multiple versions, it is must have if 2x is your thing.
At this same magnification there was another lens that outshined Rodagon WA and it is vintage Schneider Kreuznach Xenon 2/35 producing 3449/2986 LW/PH and nice 0.17 CA. Measuring only 40mm dia and 29mm long, this tiny lens performed better than anything else in Christian's collection at 2x. I've stacked it to FNNL 5.3/72 (Filip's No Name Lens) for 2x and Agfa 4/107 for 3x. Exceptional performance extended actually all the way to 3x where 2954/2839 LW/PH was measured. Not the best ever but still very high and usable for 3x.
But Christian probably won't use it at 3x since he's got another miracle lens that outperformed anything else I've measured at that magnification: Schneider Kreuznach Xenoplan 1.4/23. This C-mount CCTV camera lens already mentioned on this forum as the excelent Ebay buy at $38 has fixed internal aperture at f/4. When stacked to FNNL 5.3/72 lens produces 3340/2977 LW/PH and negligible chromatic abberation. This outstanding performance made me wonder how far this performance could go so I retested using Ysaron 4.5/90 tube lens. This test returned another set of great results: 2556/2360 LW/PH. For comparison, another best seller, Lomo 3.7x when stacked gives 2136/1988 LW/PH at the same magnification, while way more expensive Nikon LU Plan 5x NA 0.15 objective short focused to 3.8x produces 2317/2276 LW/PH. At this magnification Xenoplan has much worse CA than Lomo (0.40 vs 0.06) but it's still better than Nikon at 0.64.
Since Xenoplan didn't give up at 4x, I've raised the bar to 5x using Tominon E90C 115mm as the tube lens. I expected total fail since 5x is way into objective playground. To my surprise, it kept going strong, delivering 2219/2036 LW/PH. This is 7% better at center and 3% at the edge than Nikon LU Plan 5x/0.15 objective at nominal magnification. What a performance from tiny inexpensive lens!
BTW, exactly equal data at 3x as Rodagon WA 4/40 at 2x is not a mess up, I've checked it. It's just a one in a million coincidence!
All things are number - Pythagoras

ray_parkhurst
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Post by ray_parkhurst »

Great results and a couple surprises. I can't wait to see the full range of graphical data from Christian!

One personal takeaway was the good performance from the LS-30 lens at m=1.4. I have this lens but relegated it to "the box" due to uninteresting performance. I will pull it out and test at m=1.4 to see how well it performs in my system.

Another takeaway was the excellent performance at 2x for the 40WA. This lens has eluded my efforts so far but I have not tried it with an 80RR. I'll give that a try to compare with the 95PN. The EA at f8 vs f9.9 for the 95PN is intriguing.

Thanks again for your efforts.

dickb
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Post by dickb »

Nice to see the Xenoplan 23/1.4 (4.0) performing nicely here. Just to confirm, you used the fixed aperture version with its aperture unmodified, right? I was/am intending to drill out the fixed f/4.0 aperture to its optimal aperture for this use. When I tested this some time ago f/2.8 and f/4.0 vied for optimum performance, but this was on my previous relatively low megapixel setup. I should redo the test properly. Robert suggested using the lens without aperture and placing a stop between it and the tube lens.

Miljenko
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Post by Miljenko »

Unfortunately, I was unable to open Xenoplan 1.4(4)/23 and change the aperture mask. My sample finally arrived so I can freely use serious force in order to open it. I have feeling as if they used sort of glue to secure those retaining rings. Anyone managed to open this lens? A good tip could help!
All things are number - Pythagoras

dickb
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Post by dickb »

Miljenko wrote:Unfortunately, I was unable to open Xenoplan 1.4(4)/23 and change the aperture mask. My sample finally arrived so I can freely use serious force in order to open it. I have feeling as if they used sort of glue to secure those retaining rings. Anyone managed to open this lens? A good tip could help!
Yes, I did, as described here

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/ ... 9a0ebe34a9

I had to use a bit of force though.

typestar
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Your hard work!

Post by typestar »

Dear Miljenko,

I want to THANKYOU here for all your hard work in these weeks ago.
This was a massive time-consuming shooting, comparing and discussing -
for instance which tube-lenses to choose for this or that lens or better even without.

So, we have "neutral" MTF numbers now in our database, in addition to other great findings and tests of Robert, Ray, Lou and other appreciated members-- numbers, which could help with decisions.

I am glad to have some little treasures in this first little collection you tested so intensively (and other lenses to come perhaps later, if you find the time)

I am a little happy in particular that the little underdog Coolscan 3 lens behaves so nice and also the cheap Schneider-Kreuznach 23 mm...

For all of you interested in graphics: as my normal work at the moment leaves only short time, if all works, I plan to show some of them in the next 2 weeks. Thankyou for your patience ...

Again, my respect to my friend Miljenko for his intensive MTF-testings!

All the best -- for further tests:

typestar / Christian
Last edited by typestar on Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.

dickb
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Re: Best five

Post by dickb »

Miljenko wrote: But Christian probably won't use it at 3x since he's got another miracle lens that outperformed anything else I've measured at that magnification: Schneider Kreuznach Xenoplan 1.4/23. This C-mount CCTV camera lens already mentioned on this forum as the excelent Ebay buy at $38 has fixed internal aperture at f/4. When stacked to FNNL 5.3/72 lens produces 3340/2977 LW/PH and negligible chromatic abberation. This outstanding performance made me wonder how far this performance could go so I retested using Ysaron 4.5/90 tube lens. This test returned another set of great results: 2556/2360 LW/PH. For comparison, another best seller, Lomo 3.7x when stacked gives 2136/1988 LW/PH at the same magnification, while way more expensive Nikon LU Plan 5x NA 0.15 objective short focused to 3.8x produces 2317/2276 LW/PH. At this magnification Xenoplan has much worse CA than Lomo (0.40 vs 0.06) but it's still better than Nikon at 0.64.
Since Xenoplan didn't give up at 4x, I've raised the bar to 5x using Tominon E90C 115mm as the tube lens. I expected total fail since 5x is way into objective playground. To my surprise, it kept going strong, delivering 2219/2036 LW/PH. This is 7% better at center and 3% at the edge than Nikon LU Plan 5x/0.15 objective at nominal magnification. What a performance from tiny inexpensive lens!
The fixed aperture version can be found at a low price, yes. As you would expect, the original new price is a lot higher. B and H charges you a mere 823.95 USD for the variable aperture version..

Miljenko
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Post by Miljenko »

dickb wrote:
Miljenko wrote:Anyone managed to open this lens? A good tip could help!
Yes, I did, as described here

https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/ ... 9a0ebe34a9

I had to use a bit of force though.
Thanks for the advice, DickB, I'll try that. Then, of course, additional testing follows at different apertures.
All things are number - Pythagoras

ray_parkhurst
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Post by ray_parkhurst »

I checked the performance of the Rodenstock 40WA/80RR combo vs the Nikon 95PN. Since I don't really know the MTFs for the 95PN, I was not sure how good the numbers posted for the 40WA really are. What I saw was really good performance from the 40WA at the center, but the corners were really degraded, far more than the 11% reduction in MTF numbers would indicate. The 40WA is also showing significant light falloff in the corners, even on APS-C. Here are the images:

Overall 40WA/80RR
Image

Overall 95PN
Image

Center 400% Crop 40WA/80RR
Image

Center 400% Crop 95PN
Image

Corner 400% Crop 40WA/80RR
Image

Corner 400% Crop 95PN
Image

Macro_Cosmos
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Post by Macro_Cosmos »

Lou Jost wrote:I have that Kodak scanner lens, it was sold for a very few dollars (maybe $10) by Surplus Shed. It would be the winner in any weight per dollar lens contest. If I recall correctly (and I may not be recalling correctly), it had lots of longitudinal CA in my tests, but maybe there is some range of m where it works better. It looks and feels like it should be good for something!
It's also pretty soft. Centre is alright but the corners degrade very fast.
The lens itself has beautiful blue/purple coatings, it's quite nice. I would guess the lens is used for IR, although one can't be sure... information is scarce.

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