Scanner Nikkor 38mm f/2.8 LS30 Scanner Lens Tested

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RobertOToole
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Scanner Nikkor 38mm f/2.8 LS30 Scanner Lens Tested

Post by RobertOToole »

LS30-scanner-lens-www-closeuphotography-com.jpg
Just posted test results for the 38mm f/2.8 Scanner Nikkor lens out of the Super Coolscan 2000 LS-2000 and Coolscan III LS-30 film scanners.

Special thanks to Typestar for the encouragement to run the test and for the loaner lens! :D

BTW, the test has not been finalized and could benefit from a quick read for errors, please message me if you can give me a hand with that please :D

https://www.closeuphotography.com/cools ... -lens-test

Tested the lens with about a dozen other lenses at 1.4x on APS-C sensor Sony A6300. I posted crops from 38mm f/2.8 Scanner Nikkor vs Canon MP-E, 38mm f/2.8 Scanner Nikkor vs Magnagon 5.6/75 and 38mm f/2.8 Scanner Nikkor vs 45mm f/2.8 Scanner Nikkor (7 element lens).

These are some crops from the 38mm f/2.8 Scanner Nikkor vs Canon MP-E at 1.4x. The MP-E was tested at f/4.5, the most balanced aperture, wider apertures had issues with red fringing.

1-4x-wafer-target-www-closeuphotography-com-1500px.jpg

Center:

Center-crop-Scanner-Nikkor-38-vs-Canon-MPE-65-1-4x-www-Closeuphotography-com.jpg

Edge:

Edge-crop-Scanner-Nikkor-38-vs-Canon-MPE-65-1-4x-www-Closeuphotography-com.jpg

Corner:

Corner-crop-Scanner-Nikkor-38-vs-Canon-MPE-65-corner-crop-1-4x-www-Closeuphotography-com.JPG

35MM F/2.8 LS30 1.4X TEST SETUP
Camera: Sony α6300, model # ILCE-6300, also known as: A6300
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

For this test a stack of images was made with 5µ (5 micron) steps and the sharpest frame was then chosen using Photoshop at 100% actual pixel view. Separate images were selected for each crop area. 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.

FYI RafCamera does have an adapter available for this lens now to make mounting easy.
RafCamera-Mount-Adapter-21.8mm-clamp-to-M42-x-1-male-threads-www-Closeuphotography-com-10456.jpg
I still need to post an update when I get that info on image circle finished, I forgot about that and will try to get to it this weekend. #-o

Questions and comments welcome.

Best,

Robert

ray_parkhurst
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Re: Scanner Nikkor 38mm f/2.8 LS30 Scanner Lens Tested

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Great report Robert! I pulled a couple lenses from LS20 and LS30 scanners a while back, but was not able to get great results from them, and given the short FL I ended up putting them in the box with the rest of my scanner lens experiments. It's good to see the lens compared with the MPE-65, Magnagon, and LS-50 lens so the performance can be put in perspective.

I'm surprised by the Raf adapter going straight to M42. Would have thought going to RMS would be better, but indeed the magnification would be off if the short FL lens was put into a finite microscope system.

Thanks for all the work that went into this.

JKT
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Re: Scanner Nikkor 38mm f/2.8 LS30 Scanner Lens Tested

Post by JKT »

The inner diameter of RMS is smaller than the D21.8 opening, so that would have to grab the lens from the end only.

M42x0.75 would have been nice, though. :wink: There is very limited number of rings ending at female M42x1, but almost unlimited number ending with female T2 (M42x0.75).

RobertOToole
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Re: Scanner Nikkor 38mm f/2.8 LS30 Scanner Lens Tested

Post by RobertOToole »

Hi Ray,
ray_parkhurst wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 2:05 am
Great report Robert!
Thanks. Still need to add LoCAs and also image circle info on that page. I have a feeling the 38mm wont cover more than APS-C very well.
I pulled a couple lenses from LS20 and LS30 scanners a while back, but was not able to get great results from them, and given the short FL I ended up putting them in the box with the rest of my scanner lens experiments.
The 25mm LS20 is really hard to use due to the FL. At least they were cheap, I paid $18. :D

Sharpness is great but CAs are less corrected than the LS30.
It's good to see the lens compared with the MPE-65, Magnagon, and LS-50 lens so the performance can be put in perspective.
Yes, I was hoping that would be the case, these would be most interesting to people.

The LS-50, 7 element 45mm is fantastic. I like it so much, I own two.

Actually tested about 12 lenses, maybe more, at 1.4x. Quite a few were a waste of time, like the APO-Componon 45 and 40 at 1.4x, the corners were really poor, as usual ( I have included this info on the web page). I plan to post a spin off test from this 1.4x test as an 80mm shootout,For some reason I ended up with more than my share of of 80mm lenses! More as an FYI or reference than anything else. I already shot them, I just need to process the files.
I'm surprised by the Raf adapter going straight to M42. Would have thought going to RMS would be better, but indeed the magnification would be off if the short FL lens was put into a finite microscope system.
That one was for me, I don't use RMS very often and since my main studio setup is all SM2, M42 is easy, I have lots of adapters.
Thanks for all the work that went into this.
Glad someone liked it. Finally the work on my site is paying off, I find myself referring to the info there more and more to find specs or even lens performance, sometimes I'm surprised what I posted, so much so that Google reminds me I already posted the info I was looking for! :shock:

RobertOToole
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Re: Scanner Nikkor 38mm f/2.8 LS30 Scanner Lens Tested

Post by RobertOToole »

Hi JKT,
JKT wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 5:03 am
The inner diameter of RMS is smaller than the D21.8 opening, so that would have to grab the lens from the end only.
Correct. Didn't think of that.

RMS is 0.800"-36tpi or 20.32mm x 36 tpi
M42x0.75 would have been nice, though. :wink: There is very limited number of rings ending at female M42x1, but almost unlimited number ending with female T2 (M42x0.75).
Always thought the opposite, M42x1 was more popular, I have been trying to sell a set of T2 x 25mm extension rings, 5 pieces, Schneider brand, for a few years ! I've never used them. :D

I can tell you how many times I tried to thread M42 x 1 into M42 x 1 and it turns out they were mislabeled T2 threads. #-o

Lou Jost
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Re: Scanner Nikkor 38mm f/2.8 LS30 Scanner Lens Tested

Post by Lou Jost »

Great test as always. It's nice to see a new set. I particularly liked your short introduction to scanner lenses.

I'd suggest adding one more answer to your question "Why scanner lenses?" They really are designed to have perfectly flat fields "wide open" (which they always are since there is no iris). Although the very best consumer macro lenses have good flatness of field, this is not often the case wide open, and most cheaper consumer macro lenses balance flatness of field with other desired qualities (including economic factors).

Edit: Another reason is that, contrary to most consumer macro lenses, these are designed to work best at their maximum aperture. I know of no consumer macro lens with that property.

Edit again: You make a good point about scanner lenses being corrected for a thin glass coverslip, unlike the high-performance film-era lenses. Luckily f/2.8 is close to the cutoff above which such correction doesn't matter.

JKT
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Re: Scanner Nikkor 38mm f/2.8 LS30 Scanner Lens Tested

Post by JKT »

RobertOToole wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 9:14 am
JKT wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 5:03 am
M42x0.75 would have been nice, though. :wink: There is very limited number of rings ending at female M42x1, but almost unlimited number ending with female T2 (M42x0.75).
Always thought the opposite, M42x1 was more popular, I have been trying to sell a set of T2 x 25mm extension rings, 5 pieces, Schneider brand, for a few years ! I've never used them. :D
Yes - we've had this discussion before. :wink:
RobertOToole wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 9:14 am
I can tell you how many times I tried to thread M42 x 1 into M42 x 1 and it turns out they were mislabeled T2 threads. #-o
There's a simple rule for that: Don't expect the seller to know that M42 means M42x1 instead of M42x0.75. If the add doesn't state pitch, ask. I haven't had a wrong one (in that thread pair) so far, but the sample is still small...

lothman
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Re: Scanner Nikkor 38mm f/2.8 LS30 Scanner Lens Tested

Post by lothman »

Lou Jost wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 9:57 am
Great test as always. It's nice to see a new set. I particularly liked your short introduction to scanner lenses.

I'd suggest adding one more answer to your question "Why scanner lenses?" They really are designed to have perfectly flat fields "wide open" (which they always are since there is no iris). Although the very best consumer macro lenses have good flatness of field, this is not often the case wide open, and most cheaper consumer macro lenses balance flatness of field with other desired qualities (including economic factors).

Edit: Another reason is that, contrary to most consumer macro lenses, these are designed to work best at their maximum aperture. I know of no consumer macro lens with that property.

Edit again: You make a good point about scanner lenses being corrected for a thin glass coverslip, unlike the high-performance film-era lenses. Luckily f/2.8 is close to the cutoff above which such correction doesn't matter.
I also would like to see how the Laowa 100mm 2:1 lens would perform in such a test. On my A7r4 the Laowa 100mm and the 2,5-5x replaced all the scanner lens and special lenses, much easier to handle and having an aperture to be closed if necessary.

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Re: Scanner Nikkor 38mm f/2.8 LS30 Scanner Lens Tested

Post by ray_parkhurst »

JKT wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 3:44 am
There's a simple rule for that: Don't expect the seller to know that M42 means M42x1 instead of M42x0.75. If the add doesn't state pitch, ask. I haven't had a wrong one (in that thread pair) so far, but the sample is still small...
Unfortunately, I've purchased several adapters that were marked M42x1 but were actually 0.75 pitch. Maybe an even simpler rule is to always ask.

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Re: Scanner Nikkor 38mm f/2.8 LS30 Scanner Lens Tested

Post by Lou Jost »

On my A7r4 the Laowa 100mm and the 2,5-5x replaced all the scanner lens and special lenses, much easier to handle and having an aperture to be closed if necessary.
For me too, the Laowa 2.5x-5x is usually the lens I turn to for ordinary FF work, especially for deep subjects or live subjects. I really like it, especially at the lower end of its magnification range. Being able to change the magnification to precisely fill the frame is a large advantage that makes up for the small loss in quality compared to more complex set-ups. It is so easy, and the working distance is also good. One of my best lens investments. For end-use publication at a size of 15cm or less, the image quality is indistinguishable from the better but more complicated set-ups.

On the other hand, if I am looking for poster quality for a special image, especially at magnifications between 4x and 5x,and if the subject is not going to wilt during a long stack, it pays to use a more specialized lens or objective combo.

dolmadis
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Re: Scanner Nikkor 38mm f/2.8 LS30 Scanner Lens Tested

Post by dolmadis »

Hi Robert

Have you tested the lens from the Nikon Super Coolscan 4000 ED Scanner?

I believe it is 7 elements in 4 groups including 3 ED glass elements.

I do not know if it has an LS designation.

Best

John

viktor j nilsson
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Re: Scanner Nikkor 38mm f/2.8 LS30 Scanner Lens Tested

Post by viktor j nilsson »

dolmadis wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 7:15 am
Hi Robert

Have you tested the lens from the Nikon Super Coolscan 4000 ED Scanner?

I believe it is 7 elements in 4 groups including 3 ED glass elements.

I do not know if it has an LS designation.

Best

John
https://www.closeuphotography.com/scann ... ement-lens

Here's Robert's 2018 test of the Scanner Nikkor ED 7 element lens from the 4000/5000 scanners. Impressive little lens.

ray_parkhurst
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Re: Scanner Nikkor 38mm f/2.8 LS30 Scanner Lens Tested

Post by ray_parkhurst »

RobertOToole wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 9:07 am

The 25mm LS20 is really hard to use due to the FL. At least they were cheap, I paid $18. :D

Sharpness is great but CAs are less corrected than the LS30.
Interesting...I bought an LS-20 and it had the same lens in it as the LS-30. The LS-10 I bought had the smaller 25mm lens, so I have assumed Nikon upgraded the lens and sensor when they made the LS-20, and then just the sensor (or maybe just software) going from LS-20 to LS-30. It was hard to tell the difference mechanically or optically between the LS-20 and LS-30. Maybe there are different versions?

ray_parkhurst
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Re: Scanner Nikkor 38mm f/2.8 LS30 Scanner Lens Tested

Post by ray_parkhurst »

viktor j nilsson wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 7:23 am
dolmadis wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 7:15 am
Hi Robert

Have you tested the lens from the Nikon Super Coolscan 4000 ED Scanner?

I believe it is 7 elements in 4 groups including 3 ED glass elements.

I do not know if it has an LS designation.

Best

John
https://www.closeuphotography.com/scann ... ement-lens

Here's Robert's 2018 test of the Scanner Nikkor ED 7 element lens from the 4000/5000 scanners. Impressive little lens.
I'm fairly sure the lens is the same in the LS-40, LS-50, 4000, and 5000 scanners but will wait for Robert to confirm.

viktor j nilsson
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Re: Scanner Nikkor 38mm f/2.8 LS30 Scanner Lens Tested

Post by viktor j nilsson »

ray_parkhurst wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 7:27 am
viktor j nilsson wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 7:23 am
dolmadis wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 7:15 am
Hi Robert

Have you tested the lens from the Nikon Super Coolscan 4000 ED Scanner?

I believe it is 7 elements in 4 groups including 3 ED glass elements.

I do not know if it has an LS designation.

Best

John
https://www.closeuphotography.com/scann ... ement-lens

Here's Robert's 2018 test of the Scanner Nikkor ED 7 element lens from the 4000/5000 scanners. Impressive little lens.
I'm fairly sure the lens is the same in the LS-40, LS-50, 4000, and 5000 scanners but will wait for Robert to confirm.
Oh, I was under the impression that they were different, but it's been a while since I was researching these lenses very carefully. Finding a 100$ minolta 5400 scanner caused me to stop looking...

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