200mm (+/- 20mm) tube lens comparison

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Lou Jost
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200mm (+/- 20mm) tube lens comparison

Post by Lou Jost »

I have started testing the following set of lenses as tube lenses for microscope objectives on full-frame, APS, and four-thirds sensors:
80-200 ED Nikon zoom
80-200 ED Olympus 4/3
180 2.8 ED Nikkor manual focus
210mm Rodenstock large-format lens
200 f4 AI non-ED Nikkor
200 f4 Nikkor-Q late version (Wide focus ring, f/32 min aperture, 2m closest focus distance, good blue coating)
Raynox DCR-150
Raynox DCR-5320

I don't have the Sigma Life-Size Attachment, which Robert O'Toole has found to be the best tube lens in this focal range (https://www.closeuphotography.com/tube-lenses), so the test is not complete, but I hope the results will still be useful.

I am testing all these with a micro-four-thirds sensor on a shift adapter that places the sensor so that one of its corners is in the center of the aerial image, and the diagonally-opposite corner is where a corner of a full-frame sensor would be. So from this (stacked) photo the reader will be able to judge the quality of the image for all standard sensor formats. By using a high pixel pitch MFT sensor I should be able to detect smaller differences than those that would be visible on today's full-frame sensors (A quarter-frame image on a Nikon D850 has 13Mp while my image of the same quarter-frame aerial image has 20Mp).

I did my first tests just now, to work out the bugs and try out my new 80-200mm ED Nikon zoom, which I got cheap on eBay because the autofocus doesn't work. Zooms would be very convenient as tube lenses, but they are notorious for vignetting. The best native MFT zoom, the Olympus 40-150mm, vignettes even at its longest focal length, according to Jean-Marc (jojm). He gets around this quite well using a teleconverter. But this would introduce some diffraction. I thought maybe a good zoom for a larger format might not vignette as much. This turns out to be true. With the Nikkor zoom on an MFT sensor there is no vignetting of the 7.5x Mitutoyo even at 135mm. On full frame, though, this lens vignettes even at 200mm. The Raynox however completely covers the full frame sensor with no trace of vignetting, though there is a fair bit of astigmatism and loss of resolution in the corner.

I'll post samples tomorrow if I manage...

zzffnn
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Post by zzffnn »

Lou,

If you are in US, I would have sent you my Canon FD 200mm F/2.8 SSC for testing. This is a fully manual, full frame, external focusing prime lens. There is also a L version of this design with fluoride elements.

I am selling mine for about $120+shipping, as I am moving and won't use tube lens or infinite objectives anymore.
Selling my Canon FD 200mm F/2.8 lens

enricosavazzi
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Post by enricosavazzi »

Some time ago I got Olympus OM 200 mm f/5, 135 mm f/3.5 and 100 mm f/2.8 for use as tube lenses. I made no tests with the Mitutoyo M Plan Apos, but from what I have seen from some tests as tube lenses with other optics they are at least worth re-testing with the Mitutoyos.

An advantage of the above lenses is that they are smaller than faster lenses of the same focal lengths, while still covering full frame. Another advantage is that they all take 49 mm filters, so one only needs one front adapter to switch focal lengths. Unfortunately, Olympus did not make anything similar between 150-180 mm.
--ES

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

Enrico, I hadn't thought of those lenses, though I do have the famous OM 90mm f/2 macro lens and an OM-MFT adapter. (I like to use that lens reversed on a tube lens.) My 200mm lenses are all faster than that 200mm OM. As you note, this may or may not be a virtue for use with objectives; I think the Raynox is about f/6 and it works well. I want to use my tube lenses also for reversed regular lenses, and for this, I think faster may sometimes be better.

Fan, thanks...I am now back in Ecuador though.

enricosavazzi
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Post by enricosavazzi »

Lou Jost wrote:Enrico, I hadn't thought of those lenses, though I do have the famous OM 90mm f/2 macro lens and an OM-MFT adapter. (I like to use that lens reversed on a tube lens.) But my 200mm lenses are all faster than that 200mm OM. This may or may not be a virtue for use with objectives; I think the Raynox is f/6 and it works well.
The NA speed of the tube lens is not so important (as long as the tube lens is used fully open), since the effective NA of the system is limited by the much lower NA of the objective. At least, this is true when working with microscope objectives like the Mitutoyo M Plan Apos, not necessarily with reversed camera lenses on a tube lens. An f/5 or f/8 tube lens should be just as fine as an f/2.8 in this respect, as long as it catches all the light emitted through the rear of the objective.
--ES

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

Yes, reversed camera lenses make different demands than an objective; I will be testing both reversed camera lenses and objectives, but for now, just objectives.

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

I ran into some complications: results are dramatically different depending on the sensor used!

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... 227#228227

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

Here's a quick teaser from my results, with CA not corrected in software, done on an MFT sensor shifted as described above.

Of the camera lenses I tested, the 200mm f/4 Nikkor AI-S and the 200mm f/4 Nikkor-Q were very similar, almost indistinguishable on MFT or APS sensors. On FF sensors the Nikkor-Q extreme corners start to darken slightly.

The 180mm f/2.8 ED is better than either of them and does not fade out in the corner of FF in spite of its pushing down the objective to a slightly lower magnification.

But the most interesting result was with the two-ring (not push-pull) Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 ED zoom. This was considerably sharper in the center than the three lenses just mentioned. Sharpness only declined below the other lenses near the FF corner, where there is a hard vignetting just at the corner.

Conclusion: For MFT or APS, this zoom is better than the old primes we often use. It also of course has the added benefit of being able to change focal length slightly, and it also comes with a tripod collar so the frame can be rotated for better compositions. It cannot be used on FF unless the background is black and there is nothing in the extreme corners.

By the way, my version of this lens (dating from 1999-2004) is different from most of the ones for sale on eBay. Mine has the gold-lettered Nikon lens identifying label at the base of the lens, while most have that label just below the focus-distance window near the front of the lens. Mine is this version:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/80200afs.htm

The Raynox 5320 has a very different kind of CA than any of these other lenses, making it difficult to compare. Sharpness is similar to that of the Nikon zoom. The zoom may have a slight edge in sharpness and cleanliness until the very corner of FF, where its vignetting kicks in. I have not yet compared the results with CA corrected in software.

Macro_Cosmos
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Post by Macro_Cosmos »

Interesting results. Considering that the AFS version of Nikon's 80-200 performed better in the centre, maybe the modern 70-200 will be better? I have one, worth a try. A tube lens should have great performance at infinity. I'm wondering what will happen if you close down the aperture of your 80-200, or is it not advised? I have a nice objective lens that I've yet to use. Haven't been looking into tube lenses and using objectives with digital cameras yet.

mawyatt
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Post by mawyatt »

Macro_Cosmos wrote:Interesting results. Considering that the AFS version of Nikon's 80-200 performed better in the centre, maybe the modern 70-200 will be better? I have one, worth a try. A tube lens should have great performance at infinity. I'm wondering what will happen if you close down the aperture of your 80-200, or is it not advised? I have a nice objective lens that I've yet to use. Haven't been looking into tube lenses and using objectives with digital cameras yet.
Long ago I recall my Nikon 70-200 F2.8 VR1 wasn't outstanding as a tube lens, that's when I started using the Raynox 150. Maybe some folks with the newer 70-200 will evaluate them as tube lenses?

Best,
Research is like a treasure hunt, you don't know where to look or what you'll find!
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Pau
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Post by Pau »

I'm wondering what will happen if you close down the aperture of your 80-200, or is it not advised?
As tube lens a camera lens behaves differently than when alone. Closing its diaphragm you just will get vignette at some point (often from the beginning) that depends of many factors: lens construction, mounting distance to the objective, sensor size...
In some cases closing it a bit can increase contrast but only if there is glare due to internal reflections. As general rule let it wide open, but my general advice is: do your own experiments
Pau

Rudi
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Post by Rudi »

Hi Lou,

I wonder how the Raynox DCR-150 compares to the
210mm Rodenstock large-format lens ?

Thanks, Rudi
Always looking at the bright side of life,
Kr, Rudi

Yawns
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Post by Yawns »

I recently got the Sigma Life-Size Robert O' Toole recommends .. but it wasn't easy and cheap to get one on eBay .. had to scan eBay for several months and the bid was tough.. came out for 50£ + shipping.
never saw before for sale the adapter alone
(usually shows up together with the Sigma 90mm 2.8 ..for about 150£-200£ depending on the lens mount, but makes no sense to buy an unwanted lens only for the adapter.


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Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

Rudi, thanks for asking about that. I just returned from several weeks of field trips, and will review that comparison later today for you. First I have to photograph some new species of plants collected on the field trips before they wilt!!!

YAWNS, I ended up buying the whole unwanted lens for the LS adapter. I found a cheap one. Anyway this will let me make comparisons directly. I will go to the US in July to pick it up, and will then test it against the other solutions....

Yawns
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Post by Yawns »

YAWNS, I ended up buying the whole unwanted lens for the LS adapter. I found a cheap one. Anyway this will let me make comparisons directly. I will go to the US in July to pick it up, and will then test it against the other solutions....
Good for you :) :) ... you now this side of the pond is harder and more expensive to find and buy stuff ... it's so frustrating.
Waiting for your "review".

António
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