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DA lenses on Full Frame: Test Shots thread
Posted By: falconeye, 07-07-2008, 02:50 PM

Hi everybody,

I would like to open up a thread dedicated to one topic:

DA lens on Full Frame: a sticky test shots thread.

This thread shall be dedicated to test shots of a DA lens mounted to a full frame body (e.g., a film camera body). By test shot, I mean shots dedicated to evaluate the performance. Shots of ordinary subjects aren't suitable to this task, normally, and should not be posted. So, these are the rules:
  • K mount lens dedicated to the APS-C form factor is used.
  • Image is taken full frame 36mm x 24mm.
  • Lens hood was removed.
  • And ideally, no filter is mounted.
  • The aperture used is specified (note that film cameras don't record EXIF...).
  • Sample image shows the entire field of view.
  • Sample image(s) show(s) corner, border and center performance at 10MP-100% (multiple crops, or single not-resized image).
  • The subject is such that resolution and vignetting at the borders can be compared to the center.
The idea behind this thread is obvious: To compile enough data to assess the spectrum of available lenses for a forthcoming full frame DSLR in K mount.

#################################################

Table of results as obtained in this thread (updated regularly):
SMC Pentax-DA primes...
SMC Pentax-DA zooms...
Sigma K mount DC...
  • Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC: -
  • Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 DC: - (below 14mm, Gooshin)
  • ...
Tamron K mount Di-II...
  • ...
Overall rating scale:
+++: no significant difference between APS-C and FF corners
++: difference but usable at full aperture with a small loss in corner IQ only
+: usable staring at f/4~f/5.6, with no or a small loss in corner IQ only
o: usable at f/11 or with big loss in corner IQ only
-: not usable


Last edited by falconeye; 07-20-2016 at 02:57 AM. Reason: Result table updated
Views: 324,559
07-23-2008, 11:47 PM   #16
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Obviously, vignetting is not the only problem. When looking at the DA40 and DA70 samples, the corners show CA and definitely lack of sharpness, and this on film which one does not pixelpeep. Imagine what the pixelpeepers will see on a full frame DSLR...

07-24-2008, 04:36 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by clawhammer Quote
I give you the vignetting winner of the thread- the DA 14!
The vignetting is so sharp that I actually suppose you took a shot of your hood. Did you? It is really easy to forget to remove it which is why I explicitely stated it as a "rule" in my original post
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
It would be a good idea to have your tests shot both wide open and stopped down to perhaps f/11
Yes, I agree. In post #7, there is a link to shots stopped down. My P3N doesn't tell me which aperture it is going to use and the DAs lack the aperture ring... It not even has a Tv mode.
QuoteOriginally posted by GaryM Quote
the DA Limiteds are NOT going to be very good on a full-frame DSLR
It is the intention of this thread to be able for everybody to draw his personal conclusions in this regard.
QuoteOriginally posted by tcom Quote
this on film which one does not pixelpeep. Imagine what the pixelpeepers will see on a full frame DSLR...
After scanning the image is a >10MP image and is pixelpeeped in exactly the same way...
Coolscan IV (2900dpi) scans correspond to 11.2MP (mine), Coolscan V (4000dpi) scans to 21.4MP
07-24-2008, 10:31 AM   #18
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Hi All,

I am very interested in the DA 35 Macro. I would love to buy it, but I want to know up front how it performs on FF. Anybody?

Thanks,
Roger.
07-24-2008, 01:20 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by drerka Quote
Hi All,

I am very interested in the DA 35 Macro. I would love to buy it, but I want to know up front how it performs on FF. Anybody?

Thanks,
Roger.
After seeing samples from the DA40 and DA70 on film, I highly doubt that the DA35 will be very good on full-frame, especially at the edges of the frame. My advise to anyone waiting for full-frame from Pentax: don't buy any of the DA lenses (with the possible exceptions of the DA200 and DA300). Since the DA35 is roughly 50mm equivalent on APS-C, and you want that focal length in a walk-around macro, pick up a 50mm macro instead. And it will work on FF if/when it arrives.

07-24-2008, 02:48 PM   #20
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No hood on the DA 14 shots. Definitely not a full-framer.
07-24-2008, 04:04 PM   #21
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No laughing, I didnt get this roll scanned, but here's a couple shots with the 35mm macro on a ZX-5N. The slides were then shot with the same lens on a K10 on a light box. I don't know if the image circle size changes as you adjust focus, but the wall is at about 3 feet, and the flower is at 1:2.

07-24-2008, 04:30 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by GaryM Quote
with the possible exceptions of the DA200 and DA300
I am still in the process of finding out for the DA300.
As for a Macro. Because a 1:1 macro may need further cropping for proper composition of tiny subjects, it may be quite useful on a FF camera even if it vignettes...
07-24-2008, 04:39 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by ryno Quote
35mm macro on a ZX-5N. [...] I don't know if the image circle size changes as you adjust focus
This is from the new DA35 Macro Ltd., right?
Thanks a lot for providing those.

With 1/f = 1/f1+1/f2 you see that at 1:1 (f1=f2, f=35mm is the lens constant), the focal length f1 is increased from 35mm to 70mm. I don't know exactly, but the image circle could change quite drastically as well (lens is farther away from the sensor)...

08-14-2008, 07:21 AM   #24
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My 1000th post :)

For my 1000th anniversary post I thought it may be nice to make some preparatory explanations towards a forthcoming analysis of FF capability of several DA lenses.

Here we go. I wanted to know how resolution figures obtained on film may translate to a forthcoming FF digital body with K20D resolution.

The K20D has a sensor with 5062 dpi resolution. This would translate to 34.3 MPixel for a full frame body. Therefore, in the following, I present all figures scaled to this figure when I talk about 100% crops or 100% resolution. The same holds true for my forthcoming test results.
100% = 5062 dpi
In order to obtain 5062 dpi images from my film body (Pentax *ist), I had to resort to a trick: First, I scan at 2900 dpi with my Nikon Collscan IV ED. It actually delivers this 2900 dpi as a true resolution, i.e., fully sharp. Second, I do this several times (at least 5 times) with reloading the film and supersample the scans at double resolution. I use PhotoAcute with Nikon D40 + Sigma 30mm/1.4 profile (the best) to do so and the effectively obtainable resolution is clear above the 2900 dpi, about 1.75x or exactly the resolution I require Of course, a drum scanner would do the trick as well which I don't happen to own, however Finally, I resample at 87.276%.

Now regarding my thirst 3 images:

All three are from a Munich church exactly 1 mile away, shot with:
  1. *ist + DA* 300/4 at f/4.0 + Fujy Velvia 50
  2. *ist + DA* 300/4 at f/4.0 + Adox 20 CMS
  3. K20D + DA* 300/4 at f/5.6 (4.0 about the same) + Samsung sensor
All three images are uncropped. BTW, this may be the first DA*300 on film shot shown here.

The difference in size reflects the cropping done by the APS-C sensor. The shots were made at 3 different days. You may see this in one shot by the visibility of some Alp mountains which are 50+ miles away.

(The crops and some conclusion will follow in the second post thereafter)

Last edited by falconeye; 06-15-2011 at 05:28 AM.
08-14-2008, 07:22 AM - 1 Like   #25
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My 1000th post :) Part II

This is part II.

Now regarding my second 3 images:

All three are from a Munich church exactly 1 mile away, shot with:
  1. *ist + DA* 300/4 at f/4.0 + Fujy Velvia 50; 100% crop
  2. *ist + DA* 300/4 at f/4.0 + Adox 20 CMS; 100% crop
  3. K20D + DA* 300/4 at f/5.6 (4.0 about the same) + Samsung sensor; 100% crop
All three images are cropped 100% at 5062 dpi (which is the native pixel resolution of the K20D).

While the Velvia scan could have been good I must confess that the focus wasn't exact. The left half of the crop contains some counter measures. If I look at the bended shape of linear structures I am also wondering if air turbulences weren't very high that day. One of the problems with film is that focus cannot be verified immediately.

Second is the Adox scan. Adox CMS 20 Pro is a high resolution B&W film (20 ISO, claimed to be highest resolution in the world and 800 lp/mm). Well. The scan shows excellent detail such as some lightning arresters or brick splices. Assuming those are 1/2 inch in 1 mile distance (300mm/1609344mm), this is 2.4 micron or 1/2 a pixel at 5062 dpi. Or 200 lp/mm. Excellent indeed even if not 800 lp/mm. Film typically is rated at 40-50 lp/mm, Velvia at 80 lp/mm.

Third is the Samsung sensor. The level of detail actually is stunning. The lightning arresters or brick splices are even clearer. The lack of noise (ISO 100) is remarkable too.

I do not want to argue about film vs. digital. No way. Look how the overall rendition of the images differ. No need to compare and each has its advantages.

There is only one reason why I did pixel peep film: I will evaluate ISO chart test shots on film and need to know how figures obtained this way compare to standard resolution figures obtained on APS-C.

And my verdict for this forthcoming evaluation is as follows: resolution figures for a lens obtained on film are smaller (even with the best B&W high resolution films) than those obtained with a K20D. Figures from film can be close, though.

Last edited by falconeye; 06-15-2011 at 05:28 AM.
08-14-2008, 07:50 AM   #26
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I'm sure your explanation (currently under construction) will clearly describe it, but it is a 'must view' comparison of the 1.5x crop factor in effect, easily demonstrating that a 450mm field of view, is not an advanatage without the actual magnification of a 450mm lens. Still so many interpret APS marketing, suggesting that a lens such as the 300, is somehow 'equivalent' to a 450 in APS-C with the 1.5x crop factor. It is only the field of view which is equivalent, thus you are losing image with no advantage at all. Truth is shown here - crop is crop, its never advantageous.

It also shows the 300 is built with the future in mind - great shot from corner to corner there.
08-14-2008, 08:06 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by thePiRaTE!! Quote
it is a 'must view' comparison of the 1.5x crop factor in effect [...] It also shows the 300 is built with the future in mind
Well, I could have made the K20D image the same width of the film scans. But I thought that my images of the church all with the same lens should show the church at the same size. This decision can be considered valid because the crops show that the center resolution is high enough for a high resolution APS-C sensor.

However, I haven't yet published my DA* 300 resolution tests and therefore, you cannot yet know from the 9.8% resized web version if corner resolution is indeed on par "with the future in mind".

Anyway, I would like to express my wish that the following two topics aren't discussed in this thread:
Full frame vs. APS-C, and film vs. digital
This thread is meant to collect first-hand information (not opinions) about the suitability of DA glass on full frame bodies (be it film or a forthcoming FF digital body). We still lack an awful lot of sample images here...
08-14-2008, 11:23 AM   #28
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smc DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited (ISO chart)

This is my first published test using the official ISO 12233 test chart.

Test procedure:

ISO 12233 chart printed on A2 and shot to fill the screen.

Well, I fail to fill the screen and a fill-factor is meant to define to which degree I utilized the available image height (as the ISO scale is applicable only when the frame is filled 100%).

Fill-factor with the DA40 test shots: 84.3%

I embedded smaller (1/4 size) ISO 12233 charts into the large one. Therefore, the scale figures for the small charts must be multiplied by 4 to be comparable to the figures of the big chart.

Therefore, the resolution figure in LW/PH (line width per picture height = 24mm * 2 * lp/mm) is as follows (if imprinted "number" is taken from the small charts):

LW/PH = 400 * number / fill-factor


The printed chart has clear lines up to ~4000 LW/PH (the number "10" in the small charts) where a light printing Moir pattern starts to set in.

Film (Adox 20 CMS Pro) and scanning procedure should be appropriate for up to ~4000 LW/PH as well (cf. above).

Test shots (red line marks the APS-C image circle):
--
f/2.8:

--
f/5.6:

--
f/11:

(click onto images for full scale 5062 dpi images)

Numerical evaluation (first figures: as read from small charts) (second figures: in LW/PH):

Center (f2.8 / f5.6 / f11): (6.2/6.2/7.0) (2900/2900/3300)
APS-C corner (f2.8 / f5.6 / f11): (4.3/6.0/6.0) (2000/2800/2800)
FF corner (f2.8 / f5.6 / f11): (<2/<6/6) (<900/<2800/2800)
FF vignetting (f2.8 / f5.6 / f11): (+/++/++)
Vignetting scale:
+++: not visible
++: visible but not distracting
+: visible and distracting, but can be compensated
o: corners too dark to compensate, but no clipping
-: clipping
The vignetting in the test shots looks more pronounced than it actually is. This is due to the very steep contrast curve of the Adox B&W film.

I will shortly compare figures to photozone.de figures:
Center (f2.8 / f5.6 / f11): (3050/3480/3080)
APS-C corner (f2.8 / f5.6 / f11): (3010/3280/2850)
(Note that figures have been multiplied by 1.53=24.0mm/15.7mm)

There is no reason why both figures should be directly comparable. We have seen already that with a K20D we expect figures to be better. With a K10D, we have to take into account that the finite sensor resolution sets a hard limit well below 4000 (at 3966 exactly).

Nevertheless, we fail to see the better center resolution at f/5.6. Which lets me to believe that accurate focus wasn't reached (always difficult w/o chimming). Also, there is considerable room for interpretation of resolution achieved. Still, for our overall verdict this should be no issue.

Overall rating scale:
+++: no significant difference between APS-C and FF corners
++: difference but usable at full aperture with a small loss in corner IQ only
+: usable staring at f/4~f/5.6, with no or a small loss in corner IQ only
o: usable at f/11 or with big loss in corner IQ only
-: not usable
Final verdict:
+
Usable at f/2.8 with a big loss in corner IQ. Usable starting at f/4~f/5.6, with a small loss in corner IQ.

Last edited by falconeye; 08-15-2008 at 09:47 AM.
08-15-2008, 10:33 AM - 1 Like   #29
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smc DA* 300mm f/4.0 (ISO chart)

Ok, even although I did't get much response for my work I'll continue with the DA* 300mm here...

Test procedure is as described in post #28.

Fill-factor with the DA*300 test shots: 97.3%

Test shots (red line marks the APS-C image circle):
--
f/4:

--
f/4.5:

Center crop supersampled from two test shots at 10000 dpi (f/4.5):

--
f/6.7:

--
f/8:

--
f/11:

--
f/22:

(click onto images for full scale 5062 dpi images)


Note: there is some blur in the images. The images were taken on tripod with mirror lock-up and 3s timer release (the best the *ist has on offer). There still is shake visible, probably from the curtain. But because it is almost in one direction only, it is still possible to evaluate results. German magazine FOTOmagazin doesn't use film with tele anymore because they say that the shake is too strong due to low ISO 100 of high resolution B&W film used. And my film even is 20 ISO! Obviously, it is a problem to measure long tele lenses with film. I did my best here :ugh:


Numerical evaluation (first figures: as read from small charts) (second figures: in LW/PH):

Center (f4 / f4.5 / f6.7 / f11): (6 / 7 / 7 / 7) (2400 / 2900 / 2900 / 2900)
APS-C corner (f4 / f4.5 / f6.7 / f11): (5 / 6 / 7 / 7) (2000 / 2400 / 2900 / 2900)
FF corner (f4 / f4.5 / f6.7 / f11): (3 / 4 / 5-6 / 5-6) (1200 / 1600 / 2000-2400 / 2000-2400)
FF vignetting (f4 / f4.5 / f6.7 / f11): (++ / ++ / +++ / +++)

(for vignetting, see the church image as well; again, the Adox contrast makes it more dramatic than it really is).


The full frame corner resolution at full aperture is ~50% of the center resolution. While FF glass with this characteristics does exist, it would not qualify as the excellent lens the DA*300 is on APS-C.

My biggest complaint is a sort of ghost or shadow image visible in the extreme FF corners. This lowers the corner resolution in one direction (why I gave a range above). This effect doesn't go away when stopping down. It is probably due to lateral chromatic aberration which leads to purple fringing at all apertures.

Assuming it is CA_lat, I can give its size for the extreme FF corners here (measured in the lower right corner at f/6.7):

CA_lat = 4 px = 20 m.

Typical photozone.de figures are 0.5 px (K10D) or 3 m.

Therefore, we must conclude that CA_lat is out of control at extreme FF corners for the DA* 300mm.


Final verdict:
++ (upgraded after comment of Pl Jensen)
Worse FF than with APS-C, but usable at full aperture with a medium loss in corner IQ. Usable starting at ~f/5.6 with a small loss in corner IQ only.

I reserved the option to change the rating because I don't know yet how a true full frame tele lens does perform in its extreme corners.

Last edited by falconeye; 08-16-2008 at 10:41 AM.
08-15-2008, 10:46 AM   #30
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I shot three test shots with my DA* 50-135mm mounted on a film camera. I should have the photos back tonight so I'll scan and upload them this weekend.
All three shots are at the long end, though.
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