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07-11-2008, 09:25 AM   #1
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Comparing bokeh on 50's manual focus lenses.

I used a tripod and custom white balance.
Shots are in JPG. No post processing of any kind.
Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation are set to "0" on my K10D.
Image Tone is set to Natural.

SMC Pentax-A 50mm f1.7 @f1.7


Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm f2.8 @f.2.8 (borrowed from a friend)


Industar-50-2 @f3.5


Volna 50mm f2.8 @2.8


Helios-77M @1.8


Mamiya Sekor 50mm f2 @f2


MC Pentacon 50mm f1.8 @f1.8


Helios-44-2 @f2


Mamiya Sekor 55mm f1.8 @1.8


Vivitar 55mm f2.8 Macro @f2.8



I personally prefer the Volna-9. The OOF highlight rings are not that harsh.

Also noticed that the Industar-50-2 and the Carl Zeiss Jenna Tessar bokeh looks very similar. AFAIK these lenses share the same Tessar optical formula.

07-11-2008, 11:25 AM   #2
Voe
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The Pentacon and the CZJ Tessar allow close focus up to 0.33m and 0.35m respectively.
So in this comparsion all the lenses are at around 35cm distance from the test object.

MC Pentacon 50mm f1.8 @f1.8


Vivitar 55mm f2.8 Macro @f2.8


Volna 50mm f2.8 @2.8


Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm f2.8 @f.2.8


Again I prefer the look of the Volna-9. It's bokeh is smoother than the rest and the highlight circles are not that harsh.
07-11-2008, 01:22 PM   #3
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Oh no,
you're demystifying these lenses :-)

Well thanks for all the work and sharing it!

I'd be interested how the Volna looks like when you stop it down to the star shape-aperture. My experiences with the Industar 61 LZ show some real funky bokeh when you have that aperture (most notably f/4-f/8). That's all assumed that this Volna and that Industar are the same lenses except the near distance. Said to be Tessars just like the others you mentioned.

Interesting now to see real differences under equal conditions, thanks again for doing this!

I should do something similar sometimes, but isn't it what they all say ?

Georg (the other)
07-11-2008, 04:03 PM   #4
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Nice work! Great to see them all shooting the same scene.
If you get the motivation to do it again can you shoot all them all at the same aperture? Let's say 2.8?

cheers
mike

07-11-2008, 05:43 PM   #5
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thanks for the tests Voe,
i agree with your choice of the Volna, more perfect blur discs
07-11-2008, 06:34 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by schmik Quote
Nice work! Great to see them all shooting the same scene.
If you get the motivation to do it again can you shoot all them all at the same aperture? Let's say 2.8?

cheers
mike
YUP!

f2.8 would be a good comparison.

Ray
07-11-2008, 07:11 PM   #7
Voe
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For those who are interested in f/2.8 shots, I already took them but did not post them earlier, so here they are now:

Pentax 50mm f1.7 @f2.8


MC Pentacon 50mm f1.8 @f2.8


Mamiya Sekor 55mm f1.8 @2.8



Mamiya Sekor 50mm f2 @f2.8



Helios-77M @2.8



Helios-44-2 @f2.8


MC Pentacon 50mm f1.8 @f2.8



I notice that at f/2.8 the Helios-44-2 has the roundest bokeh among the rest of the faster (f/2 and faster) lenses and that's because of the 8 blades aperture.

Thank you all guys for your comments. I am really glad that you find this comparison as helpful as it is for me.
We usually see bokeh from individual lenses but it is not very often that we get a comparison of multiple 50s.

Last edited by Voe; 07-12-2008 at 12:23 AM.
07-11-2008, 10:03 PM   #8
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Hey, Voe. Volna indeed produces nicer bokeh. What another great effort from you. Zeiss jena 50mm is quite dissapointing and having the worst bokeh of all.

07-11-2008, 10:41 PM   #9
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Love this comparison! Nice work. The Pentax 1.7 is obviously at a disadvantage wide open, but in the 2.8 comparison it shows much better.

The Volna presents a very smooth image & definately has a neutral bokeh. Seems the Vivitar has a very tight bokeh and is giving up NOTHING to the CZ and others in this comparison. Excellent lens.

Overall, I am SURPRISED by what I'm seeing. I actually like the Industar rendition of the scene and the Mamiya 1.8 is quite nice also - both are lenses I'd like to put on my camera for a while. Again, the Vivitar stuns me in that it is obviously showing quite well.
07-12-2008, 12:17 AM   #10
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Aaah,
thanks for posting the 2.8-pics!!

If you have them with 3.5 and 4 and... :-)

About the Volna-9 2.8/50 vs. Industar 61LZ 2.8/50, some say it's different, some say not:

Typical confusion here,
USSR Photo Forum - Volna-9 50/2.8 question

Nice Tom-Tiger-comparison, again stating different lens schemes,
Volna 9 vs Industar 61 L/Z

This source seems to be reliable, it states that the Volna-9 has the same lens scheme like the Industar61LZ and very similar to Elmar-M,
KIEV VOLNA vs. the Industar61LZ-scheme Krasnogorsky Zavod -- -- -- -61

I really promise to do like you did with those two lenses, should I ever get my hands on the Volna.
Georg (the other)
07-12-2008, 01:40 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Hey, Voe. Volna indeed produces nicer bokeh. What another great effort from you. Zeiss jena 50mm is quite dissapointing and having the worst bokeh of all.
Thanks, James. Maybe we can do some controlled comparison shots between your Voigtlander Nokton 58mm and my Volna-9 one day.
I borrowed the Zeiss Jena from a colleague at work. He was not very excited either.

QuoteOriginally posted by TourDeForce Quote
Love this comparison! Nice work. The Pentax 1.7 is obviously at a disadvantage wide open, but in the 2.8 comparison it shows much better.

The Volna presents a very smooth image & definately has a neutral bokeh. Seems the Vivitar has a very tight bokeh and is giving up NOTHING to the CZ and others in this comparison. Excellent lens.

Overall, I am SURPRISED by what I'm seeing. I actually like the Industar rendition of the scene and the Mamiya 1.8 is quite nice also - both are lenses I'd like to put on my camera for a while. Again, the Vivitar stuns me in that it is obviously showing quite well.
I would rate the Vivitar bokeh right after the Volna-9 in this test. The best thing about the Vivitar is also that it is a 1:1 macro lens, which makes it very flexible.

QuoteOriginally posted by georgweb Quote
Aaah,
thanks for posting the 2.8-pics!!

If you have them with 3.5 and 4 and... :-)

About the Volna-9 2.8/50 vs. Industar 61LZ 2.8/50, some say it's different, some say not:

Typical confusion here,
USSR Photo Forum - Volna-9 50/2.8 question

Nice Tom-Tiger-comparison, again stating different lens schemes,
Volna 9 vs Industar 61 L/Z

This source seems to be reliable, it states that the Volna-9 has the same lens scheme like the Industar61LZ and very similar to Elmar-M,
KIEV VOLNA vs. the Industar61LZ-scheme Krasnogorsky Zavod -- -- -- -61

I really promise to do like you did with those two lenses, should I ever get my hands on the Volna.
Georg (the other)
Hi Georg,
Unfortunately I did not test other aperture settings.

I have seen the Tom Tiger comparison, unfortunately his test was performed on a film camera, but it still gives us some idea about how the two lenses compare. I am also very curious how these lenses perform on digital, but did not see any comparison so far.
The Volna-9 is the least discussed lens I came accross in forums and on the Internet. It seems this is because it is not very easy to find. There is so much about Jupiter and Helios (which are very interesting lenses) but not much info on Volna-9.

I have the M39 Industar which acts as a close focus/macro on my K10D (using M39 to M42 ring). The rendering is beautiful, and it is a really great lens, unfortunately I cannot use it's full capabilities as it has a different lens mount register and I cannot focus further than 10-15cm.

I used google translaton to read the italian article on Volna-9 and the optic scheme is really very close to Leica Elmar 50mm f/2.8. From what I understand, Volna-9 s an evolved Tessar optical formula. And further down in the article the writer comments that this design have filled the gap that separated the Tessar type from the double Gauss.
07-12-2008, 03:57 AM   #12
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F1.7 version at F2
07-12-2008, 05:47 AM   #13
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I posted photos from my outing today with Volna-9 at: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/31430-soviet-lenses-club-3.html

Thanks.
07-12-2008, 06:13 AM   #14
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nice tests Voe
the Volna does look pretty good, without looking at the titles, its bokeh did look better
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