High-End 1X Lens Test Online

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RobertOToole
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High-End 1X Lens Test Online

Post by RobertOToole »

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Just posted a new 1X test on my site:

https://www.closeuphotography.com/1x-test-2020/

This is the second test at 1x, I was able to test a few lenses that I
wasn't able to test in my first comparison at 1x, with a higher resolution body this time. You can see the first 1x test on my site:

https://www.closeuphotography.com/sharpness-test-1x

Before I tested the lenses on the A7RIV, I ran a pre-test with my A6300 that saved me a lot of time.

Camera: Sony A6300, model # ILCE-6300
Sensor size: APS-C. 23.5 × 15.6 mm. 28.21 mm diagonal. 3.92 micron sensor pitch
Pretest lenses:

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM Lens
Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro Lens
Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G Oss Macro Lens
Voigtlander APO-LANTHAR 110mm f/2.5 Macro Lens
Voigtlander APO-Lanthar 125mm f/2.5 SL Macro Lens

Camera: Sony A7RIV, Sony Alpha ILCE-A7R IV
Sensor size: Full Frame. 35.7mm x 23.8mm. 42.9 mm diagonal. 3.76 micron sensor pitch
Lenses tested on the A7RIV in the center, APS-C corner, and full frame corner crop.

Canon MP-E 65mm f2.8 1-5x Macro Lens
Mejiro Entendue OTH100 90mm f/5.6 line scan lens
Nikon Printing-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8A
Nikon Scanner-Nikkor ED 100mm Scanner Lens
Schneider Kreuznach Macro Varon CAS 85mm f/4.5
Sigma Art 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Lens
Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 SP Di macro lens

There were some big surprises in the test, the super performance of the Sigma 70 Art is probably the biggest.

The poor performance of the Canon 100 IS, lateral CAs, and the Sony 90 G Oss lens, lateral CAs, was surprising.

The defective CV110 lenses was also a big bummer.

Test wafer

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Wafer layout for the A6300 pretest

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Wafer layout for the A7RIV test, the central crop area was actually placed in the middle of the frame for each lens.

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Due to the large amount of images in this test I will post the center crops here from the top lenses in the test. To see the rest of the crops and my notes, follow the link at the top of the post to see the full test on my site.

Canon MP-E 65mm f2.8 1-5x Macro Lens at f/5

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Mejiro Entendue OTH100 90mm f/5.6 line scan lens at f/5.6

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Nikon Printing-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8A at f/2.8

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Nikon Scanner-Nikkor ED 100mm Scanner Lens at f/2.8

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Schneider Kreuznach Macro Varon CAS 85mm f/4.5 at f/4.5

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Sigma Art 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Lens at f/4

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Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 SP Di macro lens at f/4

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FINAL RESULTS: BEST IMAGE QUALITY AT 1X

1 - Nikon Printing-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 A

2 - Nikon Scanner-Nikkor ED 100mm Scanner Lens

3 - Sigma Art 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Lens

4 - Schneider Kreuznach Macro Varon CAS 85mm f/4.5

5 - Mejiro Entendue OTH100 90mm f/5.6 line scan lens

6 - Canon MP-E 65mm f2.8 1-5x Macro Lens

Overall Best performance: Nikon Printing-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 A

Amazing sharpness and contrast from corner to corner on the A7RIV sensor. The level of sharpness in the files out of the PN are so high, that even if left unsharpened, they would still be sharper than most of the other lenses in this test.

Biggest Surprise of the test, and Best Value: Sigma Art 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Lens

The Sigma Art 70 is the clear winner when you look at cost vs performance, and you can pick one at any camera shop in person or online. It would be hard for me to recommend a lens like a Macro Varon that costs $4600, or the Printing-Nikkor from Rayfact, for $8,000+, but at $469, Sigma Art lens is an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a macro lens. The Art lens is better in the center than the Macro Varon, but the Schneider is more consistent in the corner crops, so the Sigma isn’t perfect, but right now it’s almost impossible to beat for the price.

Another surprise: Mejiro Entendue OTH100 90mm f/5.6 line scan lens

Good consistent performance for a full frame sensor and superb performance as a tube lens, all in one package. I own both the 1x, and 0.75x versions, both fantastic tube lenses, picked them up for around $300 each on eBay.

THE WORST PERFORMERS AT 1X

Worst Overall Performance: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM Lens and Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G Oss Macro Lens

Glad I chose to rent, and not buy these two lenses for this test, the Sigma 70 Art is half the price of these lenses and out performs both.

Disappointing at 1x:

Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro Lens: Not a bad lens at all, but the Art lens is better all around. Some IQ drop-off in the corners on APS-C.

Voigtlander APO-Lanthar 125mm f/2.5 SL Macro Lens: Some lateral CAs, probably caused by issues with the glass in sensor stack. See the full test for more info.

Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 SP Di macro lens: Image quality drop-off in the corners and some lateral CAs. The Sigma Art lens is available for the same price.

Voigtlander APO-LANTHAR 110mm f/2.5 Macro Lens: defective.

LENSES THAT DID NOT MAKE IT INTO THIS TEST:

Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 L Macro IS USM Lens: not enough time to test.
Lomo Mikroplanar 4.5/100 Microfilm Repro Lens: poor image quality at 1x, higher mag may improve IQ.
Nikon 105/2.8 VR micro-Nikkor: Excessive chromatic aberrations. See the first 1x test, link below.
Nikon AF Micro-NIKKOR 200mm f/4D IF-ED macro Lens: Excessive chromatic aberrations at 1x. See the first 1x test, link below.
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX OS Macro Lens: lens mount incompatible. See the first 1x test, link below.
Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX OS Macro Lens: lens mount incompatible. See the first 1x test, link below.
Sigma 180mm f/3.5 EX OS Macro Lens: lens mount incompatible. See the first 1x test, link below.
Rodenstock 75mm f/4 APO-Rodagon-D M 1:1 Lens: Excessive chromatic aberrations at 1x. See the first 1x test, link below.
Schneider Kreuznach 45mm f/4 APO: Excessive chromatic aberrations in the test sample and soft corners on APS-C
Schneider Kreuznach Componon-S 50mm f/2.8: Excessive chromatic aberrations in the test sample and soft corners on APS-C.
Schneider Kreuznach Componon-S 50mm f/4 Industrial Preset lens: Excessive chromatic aberrations in the test sample and soft corners on APS-C.
Schneider Kreuznach Componon-S 80mm f/4 Lens: Soft corners on APS-C. See the first 1x test, link below.
Schneider Kreuznach Makro-Symmar 80mm f/5.6 Lens: See the first 1x test, link below.
Schneider Kreuznach M-Componon 80mm f/4 Macro Lens: Soft corners at 1x. Higher mags may improve the IQ.
IRIX 150mm f/2.8 Macro Lens: unable to borrow or buy a sample for the test.
Venus Optics Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X APO Ultra Macro Lens: unable to borrow or buy a sample for the test.

Original 1X test here on Closeuphotography.com: https://www.closeuphotography.com/sharpness-test-1x

Questions and comments welcome

Robert
Last edited by RobertOToole on Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

Robert, thanks for taking the time to do these tests, and especially thanks for taking the trouble to present them to the rest of the world in these careful write-ups.

The latest Sigma Art lenses are outrageously good. The 70mm lens is also extremely sharp and free of CA at infinity and at intermediate magnifications.

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

Lou Jost wrote:Robert, thanks for taking the time to do these tests, and especially thanks for taking the trouble to present them to the rest of the world in these careful write-ups.

The latest Sigma Art lenses are outrageously good. The 70mm lens is also extremely sharp and free of CA at infinity and at intermediate magnifications.
Thanks Lou.

Now if they can make something similar, this time over 100mm :-)

Even though I am no longer working with Sigma, I have to say I'm really proud of the work the president and the engineers have done, over the 6 or 7 years working with them. The new designs are super, with better QA and at a competitive or class leading price point, all at the same time.

I was invited to product planning meeting (the only pro photographer) in NY with the president of Sigma and he would listen and discuss each and every future lens proposal with the group. Some of the staff was formerly with Canon and they told me that kind of thing would never happen there, the top guys are 100% isolated, one of the guys was a department manager for 30 years inside Canon. That helps explain the current Canon lineup :shock:


Have a great new year Lou.

Best,

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

Happy New Year to you too. May you find many more great surprises in 2020!

chris_ma
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Post by chris_ma »

Hi Robert,

fantastic testing and write up, I was very much looking forward to this.
And as a bonus it‘s even on a full frame sensor :)
Thanks for all your time and effort.

The Sigma is fantastic, specially at the center. I wonder how it holds up over other magnifications like 0.5x or 0.33x - I expect the Sigma engineers did a good job there too since it seems to be excellent at infinity as well.

Chris

ray_parkhurst
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Post by ray_parkhurst »

Great writeup Robert! I'm pleased to see the good results from Sigma and other lenses, and also that your results are consistent with previous tests of the 105PN and Scanner-Nikkor lenses, so no surprises there.

I don't see mention of pixel-shifting being used for these tests. It looks like you did single images, no shifting, is this correct?

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

I wonder how it holds up over other magnifications like 0.5x or 0.33x
Chris, see my comment above. It does great at all m, even m=0 (infinity focus).
I don't see mention of pixel-shifting being used for these tests.

Ray, I did pixel-shifting tests of the Sigma Art 70mm on the S1R at m=0.5 and the images improved. I'll post that one of these days, I've been too busy lately with other work.

kaleun96
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Post by kaleun96 »

Thanks for the test Robert! Shame about the Sony 90mm, wonder if it was just that particular sample or all are that bad.

I have the Laowa 100mm 2x f2.8 so would have been cool to see that but can understand it may still be hard to borrow at this stage. I wouldn't expect anything spectacular from it, my expectations are that it should do OK at 1-2x but not raise any eyebrows.
- Cam

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

ray_parkhurst wrote:Great writeup Robert! I'm pleased to see the good results from Sigma and other lenses, and also that your results are consistent with previous tests of the 105PN and Scanner-Nikkor lenses, so no surprises there.

I don't see mention of pixel-shifting being used for these tests. It looks like you did single images, no shifting, is this correct?

Straight, single images Ray, no pixel-shift.

Thanks for the comments.

Best,

Robert

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

kaleun96 wrote:Thanks for the test Robert! Shame about the Sony 90mm, wonder if it was just that particular sample or all are that bad.

I have the Laowa 100mm 2x f2.8 so would have been cool to see that but can understand it may still be hard to borrow at this stage. I wouldn't expect anything spectacular from it, my expectations are that it should do OK at 1-2x but not raise any eyebrows.
Hi Cam,

My first thought was to blame the poor performance of the 90G on a defect or damage in the lens.

I changed my mind when noticed that Photoshop ACR, with lens correction disabled, turned-off, the conversion removes almost all traces of the CAs. As if the CAs were mapped perfectly. :shock:

Also on the Sony the CAs only show in the corners, the center is ok, the CV110 on the other hand, is effected by the blue haze corner to corner.

Thanks for the comments and the info.

Best,

Robert

chris_ma
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Post by chris_ma »

I‘ve seen other results with the 90G showing rather poor performance, so I doubt Robert had a damaged lens (no first hand experience though).

One thing I notice in the Sigma crops is that it seems to show significant more distortion then the other top lenses - probably the only way they could get this amazing performance over a long range at this fantastic price.

Quite easy to correct digitally these days, but that will also introduce a slight resolution hit.

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

There is also a fairly strong light fall-off in the corners wide open. This goes away on stopping down a bit.

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

chris_ma wrote:I‘ve seen other results with the 90G showing rather poor performance, so I doubt Robert had a damaged lens (no first hand experience though).

One thing I notice in the Sigma crops is that it seems to show significant more distortion then the other top lenses - probably the only way they could get this amazing performance over a long range at this fantastic price.

Quite easy to correct digitally these days, but that will also introduce a slight resolution hit.

I wasn't going to mention that due to space Chris but you are exactly right. I noticed the distortion when I was flipping through the crops, some like the PN and SN look nice, some are twisted a bit. You never notice things like that shooting in real life thats the interesting part but I agree. There had to be some trade off with the design of the Sigma Art.

FYI

70mm Art lens
4 x low dispersion elements, 2 X aspherical elements
13 E, 10 G design

The PN105-SN100:
6 ED glass elements :shock:
14 E, 6 G design

The older 70mm DG lens:
3 low-dispersion elements
10 element 9 group design

The MP-E:
1 X low-dispersion element.
10 E, 8 G design





Best,

Robert

chris_ma
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Post by chris_ma »

RobertOToole wrote:. I noticed the distortion when I was flipping through the crops, some like the PN and SN look nice, some are twisted a bit. You never notice things like that shooting in real life thats the interesting part but I agree.
I imagine for archival documentation of objects or coin photography it might be an issue - but then again even with the slight resolution loss of correcting it with the proper lens profile it would easily outperform most macro lenses.

Btw, not sure if I missed it somewhere, but just to confirm: the samples of the 70mm Art were at F2.8 ?

Chris

lothman
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Post by lothman »

very wobbly setup so there might be improvement.
the FE90/2,8 (@2,8 Center 1:1, on A7 Riv) without and with 16 shot pixelshift on an USAF Target. So group7/3 is around 160 lp/mm if I read correct.

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all the best for 2020 :-)
regards
Lothar

Edit this was full frame:
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